Massachusetts to lift all COVID-19 restrictions on May 29
BOSTON, Mass. (WLNE) – Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced Monday that the state will be moving up its reopening timeline to lift all COVID-19 restrictions on May 29, in time for Memorial Day.
Baker said the state is quickly approaching its vaccination goals, that’s why state leaders feel it’s time to get back to normal.
“Today, Massachusetts leads the nation in vaccinations and we’re on track to make a goal that we set for ourselves back in December. Over 3.2 million people in Massachusetts are fully vaccinated and over 4 million people, 75% of all adults, have received at least one dose of the vaccine,” Baker said. “Massachusetts is on track to reach its goal in vaccinating 4.1 million residents by early June and this level of protection makes this step possible for the people of the Commonwealth.”
Also on May 29, the state will follow CDC guidance and not require masks indoors for fully vaccinated people. On that day, the health department will issue a public health advisory urging unvaccinated people to continue wearing masks.
“We lead the nation in vaccination rates,” Baker said, “but until you are fully vaccinated, we’re strongly advising you to continue wearing masks, wash your hands frequently and keep your distance.”
Masks will continue to be required in the following settings:
- Nursing homes
- Healthcare settings
- Public transportation/transportation hubs
Baker also announced the state of emergency will end on June 15.
“We’re announcing this re-opening milestone 12 days in advance to give our small businesses in our communities time to plan for a return to normal and to make adjustments to their physical spaces and to modify their staffing levels. Kindness, understanding and respect will go a long way in these coming weeks,” said Mike Kennealy, Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development Secretary.
Business owners and employers may set their own rules for masking, Baker said, so he’s asking people to be kind and understanding.
“We got this far because the people in Massachusetts followed the public health guidance to keep everybody safe, and we must continue to do our part to respect any rules and requirements that individual businesses or employers may choose to put in place.”
Secretary Kennealy echoed that statement.
“While masks and face coverings will, in most situations, be optional for those who are fully vaccinated, there will be business owners who will still choose to require them. That is OK. Just as many residents will continue to wear masks on a go-forward basis, some restaurants, stores and venues will continue asking you to do so at their place of business. Let’s all pledge to respect each other‘s right to get back to normal at our own pace and in our own way,” Kennealy said.
Effective May 18, youth and amateur sports guidance will be updated to no longer require youth athletes to wear face coverings while playing outdoor spots.
Additionally, on May 29, summer camps will not be required to have campers wear face coverings outdoors.
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